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US air passenger data collection program to be reviewed before any implementation

[JURIST] US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website] chief Kip Hawley told the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday that the controversial Secure Flight Program [official website] will be thoroughly audited before the system is considered for use. The program, which would compare the names of all domestic air passengers against national security watch lists, has been heavily criticized by civil liberties groups, who say the scope of the program has expanded since it was proposed. Read the full text of Hawley's prepared testimony [PDF] discussing Secure Flight testing and phasing-in.

In July, a Government Accountability Office report [PDF text] concluded that the TSA violated the 1974 Privacy Act [text] by collecting personal information without notification [JURIST report] and by using the data to test the program without Congressional approval [JURIST report]. Four people sued the TSA last August [JURIST report] alleging that the program illegally collected passenger information during the testing process. AP has more.

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